Are professors not expected to be original thinkers? How the JNU VC has undermined her own role


One can only sympathise with the vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University when she denies the originality of her ideas to defend herself. When attacked for thoughts expressed during a lecture on BR Ambedkar and gender on August 22, she said in exasperation, “I am only a professor, not an original thinker.”

Which meant that she should not be held responsible for what she had said in her speech. She was merely quoting Ambedkar with regards to women’s issues. Her critics should attack Ambedkar, debate with him if they disagree with him. Why quarrel with the speaker, who is merely a professor?

In her speech, Professor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit’s observations about the deities Hindus worship and revere could be considered explosive by the contemporary guardians of Hindu standards. It is quite audacious for a person in a position of authority like Pandit to declare that all Hindu gods, if they are considered anthropologically, are non-Brahmins. She even said that Lord Jagannath was a tribal and that Shiva was definitely not a Brahmin. She went on to comment about the treatment that women were subjected to in traditional Hindu society. She even went to the extent of saying that women were seen as shudras by the Manusmriti….

What is to be Undone